Oakajee Port and Rail (OPR) has welcomed the commitment by the Federal Government to allocate $339 million over the next four years towards the development of common user facilities at the deepwater port at Oakajee.
According to OPR, the investment decision, announced yesterday as part of the 2009-10 Federal Budget, was in response to a request for support from Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett.
Barnett announced late last year that the State Government would become a direct participant in the port through funding and ownership of common use infrastructure and sought a commitment from the Federal Government to share the development cost.
OPR Chief Executive Officer Christopher Eves said the combined Federal and State Government’s commitment gave the Oakajee project unprecedented support for a major Australian infrastructure development.
“Direct financial support for Oakajee from both the Federal and State Governments provides a massive boost for the project,” Eves said.
The Federal Government’s support follows the March 20 signing of a State Development Agreement between the WA Government and OPR that underpins the next stage of the project’s development.
Since the State Development Agreement was executed, OPR has opened commercial, operational and technical discussions with a wide range of Oakajee stakeholders, including mid-west miners and potential Chinese participants.
A project Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) is scheduled for completion in March 2010. This is expected to be followed by financial close in late 2010, at which stage Federal and State Government funding will be required.
Murchison Metals Limited and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan, each hold a 50% economic interest in OPR.